33 Consecutive Months Of Job Growth In Colorado

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As the Denver Post's Howard Pankratz reports, what may be the worst possible news for GOP  political campaign messaging is great news for the rest of us:

Colorado logged its 33rd consecutive month of job growth in July and unemployment dipped to 5.3 percent, the ninth-lowest rate in the country.

The state last hit 5.3 percent unemployment in October 2008.

In June, the state unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. Since then, Colorado has added 5,500 non-farm payroll jobs, raising the total to nearly 2.5 million jobs, the fifth-fastest job increase in the United States.

"Employment gains and the improving labor market are pretty widespread across the state," said Alexandra Hall, chief economist for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Politically, there's very little for detractors to carp about in these latest numbers: the unemployment rate fell not due to workers leaving the workforce or government job growth, but thousands of honest-to-Pete private sector jobs being created in Colorado.

Despite all of the day-to-day message battles between Republican and Democratic campaigns and surrogate spin doctors, it remains a truism in politics that a good economy gives incumbents a big advantage in any election. Voters reliably punish incumbents when they feel uneasy about their own economic prospects, and reward incumbents when they feel positive. This is a big reason why, in the present economic climate of not just recovery but real bullishness beginning to peek its head out, Republicans hoping to oust Democrats both in Colorado and nationally cannot acknowledge that the economy is doing well. To do so, as we've discussed previously, would be to admit the inadmissible: that Obamacare hasn't wrecked the economy as Republicans not only predicted beforehand, but insisted has happened in the months since the law took effect.

And if Obamacare didn't destroy the economy, a whole lot of other things descending from that aren't true either. Very quickly, a small admission like "yes, the economy is getting better" could lead to major troubles for the GOP's whole ideological edifice.

Bottom line: one of the biggest dangers Republicans face today is this simple news report being broadly understood by the voters: who then hear the words "the economy is a disaster" from a GOP politician, and realize it isn't true. If Republicans lose control of this narrative, and economic bullishness becomes a prevalent mindset before November, it will severely weaken their case for undecided votes.

In the meantime, we'll say it gladly: congratulations to the thousands of Coloradans headed back to work.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    There were plenty of predictions before the 2012 elections that the economy would experience slow but steady growth for the next several years.  

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/business/economic-experts-give-predictions-for-2013.html?pagewanted=all

    In fact Mitt Romney was probably counting on it so he could take a 4 year presidential vacation to manage his investments.

    Had he won the election, and benefitted from this slow recovery, the usual suspects here and on the righty blogs would be crowing about the genius of the GOP economic philosophy and touting Romney for the Nobel in economics.

  2. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    So much of the economy is driven by psychology, and Republicans know it. They can restrain growth just by trashing the economy, and they have. Democrats don't have the same ability because we're not the party of the captains of industry.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Psychology may drive markets in the short term, but longer term it really does come down to economic policies.

      Republicans have kept the brakes on the economy by forcing the stimulus package of 2009 to be half of what it needed to be, failed to address the country's transportation infrastructure needs (and the Highway Trust fund), cut or eliminated unemployment insurance, poured money into tax cuts that mainly went unspent since they were targeted for the wealthy who don't spend their entire paycheck each week on necessities, continued tax policies that encourage shipping jobs and profits overseas, etc. etc.

      Now they are trying to increase the deficit with favorite-son legislation that doesn't stimulate anything but their buddies' stock portfolios, but aren't paid for with additional revenues.

      I have no idea what next the GOTP will try to wreck the economy to prove it's all Obama's fault.

  3. CaninesCanines says:

    Yeah but it's mostly $10/hour marijuana jobs. We need more fracking employment: Statistically, those jobs pay more, which means more housing and car sales, etc. etc.

    At least that's what they say in the development (as opposed to the developing) world.

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    What was Hick doing the first 10 months? Huh?

  5. DaninDen says:

    Bit of a shocker, watching Eli Stokol’s interview w/ the Guv. last Sunday. An awakening that, as a lone voter, my agenda wasn’t front & center, compared to a breezy intro by Hick, of “a friend came into town who helps manage a hedge fund” Further, his friend was concerned by the frackin fuss, (the people are (just) revolting) and getting knee tremors over a potential billion dollar investment in oil & etc (the etc is your health via drinking water, food, and that damn air you keep breathing). What can I do to help, Hick? Breathe less? Cut back on crappy flame thrower brands of H2O?  I’m your guy, John.

     On the other hand, John soars like an eagle with job generating high tech brands, aerospace for one, (a possible euphemism for the coming drones- R-us industry, New rule; make money in Colorado, leave some on the table, Any of these high flying multinationals tax sheltering their made in America profits, out of reach, overseas? 

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